I hate to say I am not surprised, but I am not. The Atlantic offers a piece this month titled “The End of Men: How Women Are Taking Control of Everything” and it is a nice blow to the man’s super ego! The story summary:
Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way— and its vast cultural consequences.
I am looking around my neighborhood and see numerous men who have been out of work for a year or more. Their wives are the bread winners and they are home taking care of the family and house. For one thing this recession has created an environment where the higher priced middle age men were the ones let go. In the meantime, I am a witness to the business advantages being offered company’s owned by anybody other than a male (and while this is not a post about race, all the disclosures I am exposed to also ask my race so I think it must be acceptable to add the classification “white” to the group affected). So, in addition to the societal advantages this article so aptly exposes, there is also an orchestrated direction in our society to move women (and other groups) in front of (white) men in the food chain. The two factors combined explain why so many men may be permanently out of the work force as we once knew it.
Regarding the societal changes-some outtakes from this article that are relevant.
“Men seem ‘fixed in cultural aspic.’ With each passing day, they lag further behind.” Numerous college women assume they’ll be primary bread winner; guys “are the new ball and chain.”
“As thinking and communicating have come to eclipse physical strength and stamina as the keys to economic success, those societies that take advantage of the talents of all their adults, not just half of them, have pulled away from the rest.”
“The evidence is all around you [e.g.] in the wreckage of the Great Recession, in which three-quarters of the eight million jobs lost were lost by men. The worst-hit industries were overwhelmingly male and deeply identified with macho: construction, manufacturing, high finance.”
“Of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most in the next decade in the U.S., all but two are occupied primarily by women.”
“Women hold 51.4% of managerial and professional jobs—up from 26.1% in 1980. … In 1970, women contributed 2 to 6 percent of the family income. Now the typical working wife brings home 42.2%—and four in 10 mothers are the primary breadwinners in their family.”
“What’s clear is that schools, like the economy, now value the self-control, focus and verbal aptitude that seem to come more easily to young girls.”
If you have raised boys and girls, this last point brings all of this home in a different light than just blaming cost-cutting and diversification efforts. The information age we now live in favors the skill sets of women. It is part of their genetics..better communicators, better understanding of a problem, more focused. If you are raising a boy today, it may be the greatest gift you can give to allow them to absorb the skill sets that involve the characteristics that are those of great communicators,organizers, and disciplinarians. Boys have been raised, and continue to be raised, to excel on the playing field and in stiff competition. We, as the American society, reward our boys for success on the football field, and tend to overlook failure in Composition classes. Girls, this is reversed. Where is your child’s future?
If this article is correct, for the first time boy’s are now arriving in the future at a disadvantage. I see evidence of this change everywhere. Better consider the affect of your priorities on your son’s. Very few of them are ever going to play a sport after high school, and fewer yet will ever receive a dime for their athleticism.
This article is a wake up call. Not much you can do if you are a middle aged (white) guy like me, but you sure can recognize what the world will look like for your children.